Why does one have to follow a madhab

>> Monday, November 30, 2009

We are taking a break from the Ihya Ulum id-din and revisiting a topic that I feel very strong about, Madhabs. Anyways the conversation below was between the sharia professor Muhammed Sa'id al-Buti and a man against Madhabs. Now many of the things discussed such as the divorce rulings do differ from school to school however the point is NOT the actually rulings themselves the point is that we (the common people) need to follow a school AND be tolerant towards other schools and recognize they have different rulings but have evidence based on/in (have no idea what preposition to use because I just did my Arabic homework and 'in" and "on" are used differently in Arabic) the same texts (the Quran and Sunnah).

The conversation

Buti: “What is your method for understanding the rulings of Allah? Do you take them from the Qur’an and sunna, or from the Imams of ijtihad?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “I examine the positions of the Imams and their evidences for them, and then take the closest of them to the evidence of the Qur’an and Sunna.”

Buti: “You have five thousand Syrian pounds that you have saved for six months. You then buy merchandise and begin trading with it. When do you pay zakat on the merchandise, after six months, or after one year?”

Anti-Madhab brother: [He thought, and said,] “Your question implies you believe zakat should be paid on business capital.”

Buti: “I am just asking. You should answer in your own way. Here in front of you is a library containing books of Qur’anic exegesis, hadith, and the works of the mujtahid Imams.”

Anti-Madhab brother: [He reflected for a moment, then said,] “Brother, this is din, and not simple matter. One could answer from the top of one’s head, but it would require thought, research, and study; all of which take time. And we have come to discuss something else.”

Buti: I dropped the question and said, “All right. Is it obligatory for every Muslim to examine the evidences for the positions of the Imams, and adopt the closest of them to the Qur’an and Sunna?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Yes.”

Buti: “This means that all people possess the same capacity for ijtihad that the Imams of the madhhabs have; or even greater, since without a doubt, anyone who can judge the positions of the Imams and evaluate them according to the measure of the Qur’an and sunna must know more than all of them.”

Anti-Madhab brother: He said, “In reality, people are of three categories: the muqallid or ‘follower of qualified scholarship without knowing the primary textual evidence (of Qur’an and hadith)’; the muttabi‘, or ‘follower of primary textual evidence’; and the mujtahid, or scholar who can deduce rulings directly from the primary textual evidence (ijtihad). He who compares between madhhabs and chooses the closest of them to the Qur’an is a muttabi‘, a follower of primary textual evidence, which is an intermediate degree between following scholarship (taqlid) and deducing rulings from primary texts (ijtihad).”

Buti: “Then what is the follower of scholarship (muqallid) obliged to do?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “To follow the mujtahid he agrees with.”

Buti: “Is there any difficulty in his following one of them, adhering to him, and not changing?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Yes there is. It is unlawful (haram).”

Buti: “What is the proof that it is unlawful?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “The proof is that he is obliging himself to do something Allah Mighty and Majestic has not obligated him to.”

Buti: I said, “Which of the seven canonical readings (qira’at) do you recite the Qur’an in?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “That of Hafs.”

Buti: “Do you recite only in it, or in a different canonical reading each day.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “No, I recite only in it.”

Buti: “Why do you read only it when Allah Mighty and Majestic has not obliged you to do anything except to recite the Qur’an as it has been conveyed—with the total certainty of tawatur (being conveyed by witnesses so numerous at every stage of transmission that their sheer numbers obviate the possibility of forgery or alteration), from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Because I have not had a opportunity to study other canonical readings, or recite the Qur’an except in this way.”

Buti: “But the individual who learns the fiqh of the Shafi‘i school—he too has not been able to study other madhhabs or had the opportunity to understand the rules of his religion except from this Imam. So if you say that he must know all the ijtihads of the Imams so as to go by all of them, it follows that you too must learn all the canonical readings so as to recite in all of them. And if you excuse yourself because you cannot, you should excuse him also. In any case, what I say is: where did you get that it is obligatory for a follower of scholarship (muqallid) to keep changing from one madhhab to another, when Allah has not obliged him to? That is, just as he is not obliged to adhere to a particular madhhab, neither is he obliged to keep changing.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “What is unlawful for him is adhering to one while believing that Allah has commanded him to do so.”

Buti: “That is something else, and is true without a doubt and without any disagreement among scholars. But is there any problem with his following a particular mujtahid, knowing that Allah has not obliged him to do that?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “There is no problem.”

Buti: [Al-Khajnadi’s] al-Karras, which you teach from, contradicts you. It says this is unlawful, in some places actually asserting that someone who adheres to a particular Imam and no other is an unbeliever (kafir).”

Anti-Madhab brother: He said, “Where?” and then began looking at the Karras, considering its texts and expressions, reflecting on the words of the author “Whoever follows one of them in particular in all questions is a blind, imitating, mistaken bigot, and is “among those who have divided their religion and are parties” [Qur’an 30:32]. He said, “By follows, he means someone who believes it legally obligatory for him to do so. The wording is a little incomplete.”

Buti: I said, “What evidence is there that that’s what he meant? Why don’t you just say the author was mistaken?”

Anti-Madhab brother: He insisted that the expression was correct, that it should be understood as containing an unexpressed condition [i.e. “provided one believes it is legally obligatory”], and he exonerated the writer from any mistake in it.

Buti: I said, “But interpreted in this fashion, the expression does not address any opponent or have any significance. Not a single Muslim is unaware that following such and such a particular Imam is not legally obligatory. No Muslim does so except from his own free will and choice.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “How should this be, when I hear from many common people and some scholars that it is legally obligatory to follow one particular school, and that a person may not change to another?”

Buti: “Name one person from the ordinary people or scholars who said that to you.”

He said nothing, and seemed surprised that what I said could be true, and kept repeating that he had thought that many people considered it unlawful to change from one madhhab to another.

I said, “You won’t find anyone today who believes this misconception, though it is related from the latter times of the Ottoman period that they considered a Hanafi changing from his own school to another to be an enormity. And without a doubt, if true, this was something that was complete nonsense from them; a blind, hateful bigotry.”

I then said, “Where did you get this distinction between the muqallid “follower of scholarship” and the muttabi‘ “follower of evidence”: Is there a original, lexical distinction [in the Arabic language], or is it merely terminological?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “There is a lexical difference.”

Buti: I brought him lexicons with which to establish the lexical difference between the two words, and he could not find anything. I then said: “Abu Bakr (Allah be well pleased with him) said to a desert Arab who had objected to the alotment for him agreed upon by the Muslims, ‘If the Emigrants accept, you are but followers’—using the word "followers" (tabi‘) to mean ‘without any prerogative to consider, question, or discuss.’” (Similar to this is the word of Allah Most High, “When those who were followed (uttubi‘u) disown those those who followed (attaba‘u) upon seeing the torment, and their relations are sundered” (Qur’an 2:166), which uses follow (ittiba‘) for the most basic blind imitation).

Anti-Madhab brother: He said, “Then let it be a technical difference: don’t I have a right to establish a terminological usage?”

Buti: “Of course. But this term of yours does not alter the facts. This person you term a muttabi‘ (follower of scholarly evidence) will either be an expert in evidences and the means of textual deduction from them, in which case he is a mujtahid. Or, if not an expert or unable to deduce rulings from them, then he is muqallid (follower of scholarly conclusions). And if he is one of these on some questions, and the other on others, then he is a muqallid for some and a mujtahid for others. In any case, it is an either-or distinction, and the ruling for each is clear and plain.”

Anti-Madhab brother: He said, “The muttabi‘ is someone able to distinguish between scholarly positions and the evidences for them, and to judge one to be stronger than others. This is a level different to merely accepting scholarly conclusions.

Buti: “If you mean,” I said, “by distinguishing between positions differentiating them according to the strength or weakness of the evidence, this is the highest level of ijtihad. Are you personally able to do this?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “I do so as much as I can.”

Buti: “I am aware,” I said, “that you give as a fatwas that a three fold pronouncement of divorce on a single occasion only counts as one time. Did you check, before this fatwa of yours, the positions of the Imams and their evidences on this, then differentiate between them, so to give the fatwa accordingly? Now, ‘Uwaymir al-‘Ajlani pronounced a three fold divorce at one time in the presence of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) after he had made public imprecation against her for adultery (li‘an), saying, ‘If I retain her, O Messenger of Allah, I will have lied against her: she is [hereby] thrice divorced.’ What do you know about this hadith and its relation to this question, and its bearing as evidence for the position of the scholarly majority [that a threefold divorce pronounced on a single occasion is legally finalized and binding] as opposed to the position of Ibn Taymiya [that a threefold divorce on a single occasion only counts as once]?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “I did not know this hadith.”

Buti: “Then how could you give a fatwa on this question that contradicts what the four madhhabs unanimously concur upon, without even knowing their evidence, or how strong or weak it was? Here you are, discarding the principle you say you have enjoined on yourself and mean to enjoin on us, the principle of “following scholarly evidence (ittiba‘)” in the meaning you have terminologically adopted.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “At the time I didn’t own enough books to review the positions of the Imams and their evidence.”

Buti: “Then what made you rush into giving a fatwa contravening the vast majority of Muslims, when you hadn’t even seen any of their evidences?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “What else could I do? I asked and I only had a limited amount of scholarly resources.”

Buti: “You could have done what all scholars and Imams have done; namely, say “I didn’t know,” or told the questioner the postition of both the four madhhabs and the postion of those who contravene them; without givng a fatwa for either side. You could have done this, or rather, this was what was obligatory for you, especially since the poblem was not personally yours so as to force you to reach some solution or another. As for your giving a fatwa contradicting the consensus (ijma‘) of the four Imams without knowing—by your own admission—their evidences, sufficing yourself with the agreement in your heart for the evidences of the opposition, this is the very utmost of the kind of bigotry you accuse us of.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “I read the Imams’ opinions in [Nayl al-awtar, by] Shawkani, Subul al-salam [by al-Amir al-San‘ani], and Fiqh al-sunna by Sayyid Sabiq.”

Buti: These are the books of the opponents of the four Imams on this question. All of them speak from one side of the question, mentioning the proofs that buttress their side. Would you be willing to judge one litigant on the basis of his words alone, and that of his witnesses and relatives?”

Anti-Madhab brother: I see nothing blameworthy in what I have done. I was obliged to give the questioner an answer, and this was as much as I was able to reach with my understanding.”

Buti: “You say you are a “follower of scholarly evidence (muttabi‘)” and we should all be likewise. You have explained “following evidence” as reviewing the positions of all madhhabs, studying their evidences, and adopting the closest of them to the correct evidence—while in doing what you have done, you have discarded the principle completely. You know that the unanimous consensus of the four madhhabs is that a threefold pronouncement of divorce on one occasion counts as a three fold, finalized divorce, and you know that they have evidences for this that you arae unaware of, despite which you turn from their consensus to the opinion that your personal preference desires. Were you certain beforehand that the evidence of the four Imams deserved to be rejected?”

Anti-Madhab brother: No; but I wasn’t aware of them, since I didn’t have any reference works on them.”

Buti: “Then why didn’t you wait? Why rush into it, when Allah never obligated you to do anything of the sort? Was your not knowing the evidences of the scholarly majority a proof tht Ibn Taymiya was right? Is the bigotry you wrongly accuse us of anything besides this?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “I read evidences in the books available to me that convinced me. Allah has not enjoined me to do more than that.”

Buti: “If a Muslim sees a proof for something in a the books he reads, is that a sufficient reason to disregard the madhhabs that contradict his understanding, even if he doesn’t know their evidences?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “It is sufficient.”

Buti: “A young man, newly religious, without any Islamic education, reads the word of Allah Most High “To Allah belongs the place where the sun rises and where it sets: wherever you turn, there is the countenance of Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-encompassing, the All-knowing (Qur’an 2:115), and gathers from it that a Muslim may face any direction he wishes in his prescribed prayers, as the ostensive purport of the verse implies. But he has heard that the four Imams unanimously concur upon the necessity of his facing towards the Kaaba, and he knows they have evidences for it that he is unaware of. What should he do when he wants to pray? Should he follow his conviction from the evidence available to him, or follow the Imam who unanimously concur on the contrary of what he has understood?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “He should follow his conviction.”

Buti: “And pray towards the east for example. And his prayer would be legally valid?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Yes. He is morally responsible for following his personal conviction.”

Buti: “What if his personal conviction leads him to believe there is no harm in making love to his neighbor’s wife, or to fill his belly with wine, or wrongfully take others’ property: will all this be mitigated in Allah’s reckoning by “personal conviction”?

Anti-Madhab brother: [He was silent for a moment, then said,] “Anyway, the examples you ask about are all fantasies that do not occur.”

Buti: “They are not fantasies; how often the like of them occurs, or even stranger. A young man without any knowledge of Islam, its Book, its sunna, who happens to hear or read this verse by chance, and understands from it what any Arab would from its owtward purport, that there is no harm in someone praying facing any direction he wants—despite seeing people’s facing towards the Kaaba rather than any other direction. This is an ordinary matter, theoretically and practically, as long as there are those among Muslims who don’t know a thing about Islam. In any event, you have pronounced upon this example—imaginary or real—a judgement that is not imaginary, and have judged “personal conviction” to be the decisive criterion in any event. This contradicts your differentiating people into three groups: followers of scholars without knowing their evidence (muqallidin), followers of scholars’ evidence (muttabi‘in), and mujtahids.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Such a person is obliged to investigate. Didn’t he read any hadith, or any other Qur’anic verse?”

Buti: He didn’t have any reference works available to him, just as you didn’t have any when you gave your fatwa on the question of [threefold] divorce. And he was unable to read anything other than this verse connected with facing the qibla and its obligatory character. Do you still insist that he must follow his personal conviction and disregard the Imams’ consensus?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Yes. If he is unable to evaluate and investigate further, he is excused, and it is enough for him to rely on the conclusions his evaluation and investigation lead him to.”

Buti: “I intend to publish these remarks as yours. They are dangerous, and strange.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Publish whatever you want. I’m not afraid.”

Buti: “How should you be afraid of me, when you are not afraid of Allah Mighty and Majestic, utterly discarding by these words the word of Allah Mighty and Majestic [in Sura al-Nahl] ‘Ask those who recall if you know not’ (Qur’an 16:43).”

Anti-Madhab brother: “My brother,” he said, “These Imams are not divinely protected from error (ma‘sum). As for the Quranic verse that this person followed [in praying any direction], it is the word of Him Who Is Protected from All Error, may His glory be exalted. How should he leave the divinely protected and attach himself to the tail of the non-divinely-protected?”

Buti: “Good man, what is divinely protected from error is the true meaning that Allah intended by saying, “To Allah belongs the place where the sun rises and where it sets . . .”—not the understanding of the young man who is as far as can be from knowing Islam, its rulings, and the nature of its Qur’an. That is to say, the comparison I am asking you to make is between two understandings: the understanding of this ignorant youth, and the understanding of the mujtahid Imams, neither of which is divinely protected from error, but one of which is rooted in ignorance and superficiality, and the other of which is rooted in investigation, knowledge, and accuracy.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Allah does not make him responsible for more than his effort can do.”

Buti: “Then answer me this question. A man has a child who suffers from some infections, and is under the care of all the doctors in town, who agree he should have a certain medicine, and warn his father against giving him an injection of penicillin, and that if he does, he will be exposing the child’s life to destruction. Now, the father knows from having read a medical publication that penicillin helps in cases of infection. So he relies on his own knowledge about it, disregards the advice of the doctors since he doesn’t know the proof for what they say, and employing instead his own personal conviction, treats the child with a penicillin injection, and thereafter the child dies. Should such a person be tried, and is he guilty of a wrong for what he did, or not?”

Anti-Madhab brother: [He thought for a moment and then said,] “This is not the same as that.”

Buti: “It is exactly the same. The father has heard the unanimous judgement of the doctors, just as the young man has heard the unanimous judgement of the Imams. One has followed a single text he read in a medical publication, the other has followed a single text he has read in the Book of Allah Mighty and and Majestic. This one has gone by personal conviction, and so has that.”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Brother, the Qur’an is light. Light. In its clarity as evidence, is light like any other words?”

Buti: “And the light of the Qur’an is reflected by anyone who looks into it or recites it, such that he understands it as light, as Allah meant it? Then what is the difference between those who recall [Qur’an 16:43] and anyone else, as long as all partake of this light? Rather, the two above examples are comparable, there is no difference between them at all; you must answer me: does the person investigating—in each of the two examples—follow his personal conviction, or does he follow and imitate specialists?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “Personal conviction is the basis.”

Buti: “He used personal conviction, and it resulted in the death of the child. Does this entail any responsibility, moral or legal?”

Anti-Madhab brother: “It doesn’t entail any responsibility at all.”

Buti: I said, “Then let us end the investigation and discussion on this last remark of yours, since it closes the way to any common ground between you and me on which we can base a discussion. It is sufficient that with this bizarre answer of yours, you have departed from the consensus of the entire Islamic religion. By Allah, there is no meaning on the face of the earth for disgusting bigotry if it is not what you people have” (al-Lamadhhabiyya (b01), 99–108).

Buti concludes the story by saying: I do not know then, why these people don’t just let us be, to use our own “personal conviction” that someone ignorant of the rules of religion and the proofs for them must adhere to one of the mujtahid Imams, imitating him because of the latter’s being more aware than himself of the Book of Allah and sunna of His messenger. Whatever the mistake in this opinion in their view let it be given the general amnesty of “personal conviction.” like the example of him who turns his back to the qibla and is his prayer is valid, or him who kills a child and the killing is “ijtihad” and “medical treatment”


Eid Mubarak

>> Friday, November 27, 2009

Assalam Alaikum
Eid MubaraK!! Make sure not to forget our Muslim brothers and sisters overseas starving so pray for them inshAllah and also never forget Masjid Aqsa from you duas.


Imam Abu Hanifa

>> Sunday, November 15, 2009

This is an aside and a break from the Ihya Ulum Id-din. So I took this from a Friend from facebook. I post this because recently "certain people' have been attacking madhabs and in particular Imam Abu Hanifa. Notice what Imam Shafi the student of Imam Malik and teacher of Imam Hanbal says about Abu Hanifa. Also notice What imam Dhahabi the student of Ibn Tayimiyyah who some say surpassed Ibn Taymiyah says about Abu Hanifa. This also addresses the issue of Asr prayer being later in the Hanafi Madhab.

On Abu Hanifa

Al-Nu`man ibn Thabit al-Taymi, al-Imam Abu Hanifa (d. 150), called "The Imam" by Abu Dawud, and "The Imam, one of those who have reached the sky" by Ibn Hajar, he is known in the Islamic world as "The Greatest Imam" (al-imâm al-a`zam) and his school has the largest number of followers among the four schools of Ahl al-Sunna. He is the first of the four mujtahid imams and the only Successor (tâbi`i) among them, having seen the Companions Anas ibn Malik, `Abd Allah ibn Abi Awfa, Sahl ibn Sa`d al-Sa`idi, Abu al-Tufayl, and `Amir ibn Wathila.

Abu Hanifa is the first in Islam to organize the writing of fiqh under sub-headings embracing the whole of the Law, beginning with purity (tahara) followed by prayer (sala), an order which was retained by all subsequent scholars such as Malik, Shafi`i, Abu Dawud, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and others. All these and their followers are indebted to him and give him a share of their reward because he was the first to open that road for them, according to the hadith of the Prophet: "He who starts something good in Islam has its reward and the reward of those who practice it until the Day of Judgement, without lessening in the least the reward of those who practice it. The one who starts something bad in Islam will incur its punishment and the punishment of all those who practice it until the Day of Judgement without lessening their punishment in the least." Al-Shafi`i referred to this when he said: "People are all the children of Abu Hanifa in fiqh, of Ibn Ishaq in history, of Malik in hadith, and of Muqatil in tafsîr."

Al-Khatib narrated from Abu Hanifa’s student Abu Nu`aym that the latter said: "Muslims should make du`a to Allah on behalf of Abu Hanifa in their prayers, because the Sunan and the fiqh were preserved for them through him. Al-Dhahabi wrote one volume on the life of each of the other three great Imams and said: "The account of Abu Hanifa’s life requires two volumes." His son Hammad said as he washed his father’s body for burial: "May Allah have mercy on you! You have exhausted whoever tries to catch up with you."

Abu Hanifa was scrupulously pious and refused Ibn Hubayra’s offer of a judgeship even when the latter had him whipped. Like al-Bukhari and al-Shafi`i, he used to make 60 complete recitations (khatma) of Qur’an every Ramadan: one in the day, one in the night, besides his teaching and other duties. Ibrahim ibn Rustum al-Marwazi said: "Four are the Imams that recited the entire Qur’an in a single rak`a: `Uthman ibn `Affan, Tamim al-Dari, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, and Abu Hanifa." Ibn al-Mubarak said: "Abu Hanifa for a long time would pray all five prayers with a single ablution."

Al-Suyuti relates in Tabyid al-Sahifa that a certain visitor came to observe Abu Hanifa and saw him all day long in the mosque, teaching relentlessly, answering every question from both the scholars and the common people, not stopping except to pray, then standing at home in prayer when people were asleep, hardly ever eating or sleeping, and yet the most handsome and gracious of people, always alert and never tired, day after day for a long time, so that in the end the visitor said: "I became convinced that this was not an ordinary matter, but wilâya (Friendship with Allah)."

Al-Shafi`i said: "Knowledge revolves around three men: Malik, al-Layth, and Ibn `Uyayna." Al-Dhahabi commented: "Rather, it revolves also around al-Awza`i, al-Thawri, Ma`mar, Abu Hanifa, Shu`ba, and the two Hammads [ibn Zayd and ibn Salama]."

Sufyan al-Thawri praised Abu Hanifa when he said: "We were in front of Abu Hanifa like small birds in front of the falcon," and Sufyan stood up for him when Abu Hanifa visited him after his brother’s death, and he said: "This man holds a high rank in knowledge, and if I did not stand up for his science I would stand up for his age, and if not for his age then for his Godwariness (wara`), and if not for his Godwariness then for his jurisprudence (fiqh)." Ibn al-Mubarak praised Abu Hanifa and called him a sign of Allah. Both Ibn al-Mubarak and Sufyan al-Thawri said: "Abu Hanifa was in his time the most knowledgeable of all people on earth." Ibn Hajar also related that Ibn al-Mubarak said: "If Allah had not rescued me with Abu Hanifa and Sufyan [al-Thawri] I would have been like the rest of the common people." Dhahabi relates it as: "I would have been an innovator."

An example of Abu Hanifa’s perspicuity in inferring legal rulings from source-texts is his reading of the following hadith:

The Prophet said: "Your life in comparison to the lifetime of past nations is like the period between the time of the mid-afternoon prayer (‘asr) and sunset. Your example and the example of the Jews and Christians is that of a man who employed laborers and said to them: ‘Who will work for me until mid-day for one qirât (a unit of measure, part of a dinar) each?’ The Jews worked until mid-day for one qirât each. Then the man said: ‘Who will work for me from mid-day until the ‘asr prayer for one qirât each?’ The Christians worked from mid-day until the ‘asr prayer for one qirât each. Then the man said: ‘Who will work for me from the `asr prayer until the maghrib prayer for two qirât each?’ And that, in truth, is all of you. In truth, you have double the wages. The Jews and the Christians became angry and said: ‘We did more labor but took less wages.’ But Allah said: ‘Have I wronged you in any of your rights?’ They replied no. Then He said: ‘This is My Blessing which I give to whom I wish.’"

It was deduced from the phrase "We did more labor" that the time of mid-day to `asr must always be longer than that between `asr and maghrib. This is confirmed by authentic reports whereby:

The Prophet hastened to pray zuhr and delayed praying `asr.

The Prophet said: "May Allah have mercy on someone who prays four rak`as before `asr.

`Ali delayed praying `asr until shortly before the sun changed, and he reprimanded the mu’adhdhin who was hurrying him with the words: "He is trying to teach us the Sunna!"

Ibrahim al-Nakha`i said: "Those that came before you used to hasten more than you to pray zuhr and delay more than you in praying `asr." Al-Tahanawi said: "Those that came before you" are the Companions.

Ibn Mas`ud delayed praying `asr.

Sufyan al-Thawri, Abu Hanifa, and his two companions Muhammad ibn a-Hasan and Abu Yusuf therefore considered it better to lengthen the time between zuhr and `asr by delaying the latter prayer as long as the sun did not begin to redden, while the majority of the authorities considered that praying `asr early is better, on the basis of other sound evidence to that effect.

Like every Friend of Allah, Abu Hanifa had his enemies. `Abdan said that he heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "If you hear them mention Abu Hanifa derogatively then they are mentioning me derogatively. In truth I fear for them Allah’s displeasure." Authentically related from Bishr al-Hafi is the statement: "No-one criticizes Abu Hanifa except an envier or an ignoramus." Hamid ibn Adam al-Marwazi said: I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: "I never saw anyone more fearful of Allah than Abu Hanifa, even on trial under the whip and through money and property." Abu Mu`awiya al-Darir said: "Love of Abu Hanifa is part of the Sunna."


Subtle Points of Zakat Part 3

>> Saturday, November 14, 2009


In the Words of Imam Ghazzali

(5) Fifth Subtle Point
It is not to destroy charity by rebuke and giving trouble a charity. God says: Don't make your charity void by 'Mann' that giving trouble. There are differences of opinion for the meaning Mann. Some say that its meaning is to remind charity to receiver and that `Aza' means to disclose it. Sufiyan was as What is Mann? He replied: To remind it repeatedly and to di about it. Some say that its meaning is to take boast for giving charity and `Aza' means to drive him away and to rebuke by words. The Prophet said: God does not accept the charity of one who does 'Mann' Ghazzali explains it thus. Mann has got root and branches and it is expressed in tongue and limbs. The root of 'Mann' is to think oneself as the benefactor of one who receives charity. Rather the receiver should consider that he has shown kindness to the giver by accepting his charity, because he purifies the giver and gives him release from Hell fire. The charity of the i ver is to request the receiver. The Prophet said: Charity falls on Ole hand of God before it falls in the hand of a beggar. Now it appears that the giver places his charity first to God and then the beggar receives it from God. 'Mann' comes in when the giver understands that he has done some benefit to the receiver of charity. So the meaning of 'Mann' is to discuss about charity, so disclose it and to hope to get from the receiver gratefulness, prayer, service, honour and to wish that he should be followed in his actions. These are the secret meanings of 'Mann'.
'Aza' means to rebuke, to use harsh word and to humiliate the receiver of charity. Its secret meaning is unwillingness to withdraw hand from wealth, to think to give charity as troublesome. Secondly, it means that the giver thinks himself Superior to the receiver and thinks him inferior for his wants. I I unwillingness to give charity is sign of foolishness, because who IN more foolish than one who is reluctant to spend one dirham in lieu of one thousand dirhams in the next world? It appears from Ibis that the object of charity and expense is to get the pleasure of God and to get merits in the next world. The pious men among die rich will go to Paradise five hundred years after the pious poor men. For this reason, the Prophet said: By the Lord of the Kaba, they are undone. Abu Zarr asked: Who are undone? He .aid: 'Those who have got much wealth.' Then how can the poor he held in contempt?
God keeps the rich only for the poor, because the poor earn their livelihood by their industry, increase their provisions and preserve them with difficulties. The rich give charity according to the to the requirements of the poor and guard the excess wealth. So think the rich are servants for the livelihood of the poor. These are clip conditions of charity and Zakat. This is like God-fear in prayer.
The following Hadis establishes it. The Prophet said: There is prayer for a man except what he understands therefrom. He sai God does not accept the charity of one who gives trouble to t receiver. God says: Don't make your charity void by mentioning and by giving trouble.


Subtle Points of Zakat Part 2

>> Sunday, November 1, 2009

This will have points 2-4 inshAllah

In the Words of Imam Ghazzali

(2) Second Subtle Point
It is to look to the times and the rules of payment of Zakat. The religious men pay Zakat before it becomes compulsory. They transcend the limit of time. There is chance of falling into sin if Zakat is paid late and not in time. Willingness to do good deed comes from angels and it should be considered a cause of fortune. The heart of a believer is within the two fingers of the Merciful Mid there is no delay in its change. The devil enjoins doing evil deeds and shows fear of poverty. Zakat should be paid in the month of Muharram, the first month of Hijra and one of the pure months or it should be paid in the month of Ramadan as the Prophet (SAW) paid most of his charities in this month and there is the excellence of the Blessed Night in this month and in the month of pilgrimage. The last ten days of Ramadan month and the first ten days of the month of Dhul- Hijj are days of excellence.
(3) Third Subtle Point
Is to pay Zakat in secret. It removes show and greed for fame. The Prophet (SAW) said, "The best charity is in secret charity of a poor man to a man in want." A certain learned man said, "There are three matters in the secret wealth of good works, one of them is secret charity." The Prophet (SAW) said, "If a man acts secretly, God writes it secretly as secrecy is not maintained if it is disclosed." There is a well-known Hadith about show in open charity. The Prophet (SAW) said, "God will give shade to seven persons on the day when there will be no shade except the shade of God, one who gives charity in such a manner that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given in charity." There is in another Hadith that secret charity appeases the wrath of God, it says, "And if you give charity sincerely, it is also better for you. In secret charity, one can be safe from the danger of show". The Prophet (SAW) said, "If a man wants fame by incurring the pleasure of men, or rebukes after charity, or disclose his charity and thereby seeks name and fame, and or gives charity among the people for show, God will not accept his charity. A secret charity is free from the above faults." Many learned men said that the giver should not even know the person who tak charity. Some of them handed it over to the blind.
(4) Fourth Subtle Point
It is good to give charity openly in a place where the people are encouraged to give charity by seeing it. God (SWT) said, "Spend what I have given you secretly and openly." Care should be taken in open charity about show, rebuke after charity and not to break the secrets of a poor man as most of the beggars do not wish that anybody should see them as beggars.